How to say searchlight and intruder in French?
how to say "from the bottom of the heart" and "shooting star" in French?

How to say "to get back together" (with an ex) (after divorce or breaking up)!

Homme (et) Femme: the writing is on the wall in Alsace (c) Kristin Espinasse
Aha! I hope this blog title got you to click open your email (for those of you who receive the posts directly in your inbox :-) Read on for the whole scoop. Photo of shop window and heart graffiti taken in Alsace.

se remettre ensemble (seuh-reuh-metreuh-ahn-sahmble)

    : to get back together after a break up 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

I sat there at my desk blinking my eyes. Non, ce n'est pas possible. Staring at my sister's Facebook page, I saw the notice: "Heidi est maintenant amie avec Brian."

Such a simple phrase--it might have been a French grammar drill such as "Où est Brian? Brian parle avec Heidi"....

Only Brian hasn't spoken to Heidi in over 20 years--not since he and my sister divorced....

And now, after two decades of silence and estrangement they are friends on Facebook?!

Qu'est-ce qui se passe?! I rushed to the telephone and dialed Mexico. Had Mom logged on to Facebook yet? 

She hadn't....

  Heidi and Brian

Who? What? Where? Qui? Quoi? Comment? What were these two doing back together? And just what were the chances of that?!

Meantime, the Facebook updates continued... my sister posted this blurry sweet nothing:

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Chaque histoire d'amour est belle mais la notre est ma préférée

And this next update (spied on Brian's Facebook page) sizzled:

"Brian est en couple avec Heidi".

By this time I had heard the news before Facebook. Turns out my sister was working at a new real estate office when she ran into her ex's nephew (who worked at the same office).

"Hi!" she said. And when the nephew seemed confused, she added: "It's your long lost Aunt Heidi!"

My sister thought nothing of the run-in. And after flashing her confident smile, she all but forgot about the incident.

Until she received an unexpected message from her ex....

The cordial correspondence turned into an invitation to meet up. The rest is history--for Heidi and Brian at least. As for the rest of the family there was some catching up to do!

And I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to do so last week, when after a whirlwind 6 month second courtship, the reunited couple came here to France to share their re-commitment to each other. 

We took the lovebirds to Cassis.... (pictured: Brian, Heidi, Kristin and Jean-Marc)

  Capture plein écran 21082013 110518

Ate lunch before this view and enjoyed the sea breeze....

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And got to know each other again. As any little sister worth her salt, I paid close attention to the couple's vibes. Did my sister and her ex-husband still have that chemistry? Would they be able to accept one other completely? How would they deal with and overcome the same issues that once drove them apart? 

Facing Heidi and Brian from across the lunch table, I apologized for all the questions, but this time around I hoped to be more supportive then back then, when, as a 20-year-old bridesmaid I set down my champagne glass and stumbled out of their wedding--leaving early with my date. My own life loomed ahead of me and I had a hard time focusing on my sister's happiness when I was grappling with my own. 

Worse, in the years that followed, I didn't see my sister's sadness. The first few years as newlyweds are a delicate time for most--but I wouldn't understand that until tying the knot myself, years later. Now I "get" it--and I am thankful for the love and support of my family, who got me through those early years. Without the encouragement of my sister Heidi, and my Mom and John, and my Dad and his wife Marsha--and my Aunt Charmly and Uncle Tucker--my marriage might not have made it over the first hurdles either!  

My turn, now, to be here for my sister and Brian. 

"I'm not sure what I know about marriage," I admitted to Heidi and Brian, "and any knowledge I can share may be more like the blind leading the blind... But I am here for you both, now, and so is Jean-Marc. We will do whatever we can to support you and see you through!"

Brian was the first to respond: "Thank you!" he said, assuring me that my 19-year marriage with Jean-Marc had certainly given me my share of experience and wisdom.

I was touched by Brian's response. But back to that nagging question: what about the chemistry between him and my sister? Did they still feel those sparks? I needed to see it for myself!

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As the saying goes une photo vaut mille mots... More than sensing the chemistry, I loved hearing the couple tease and kid each other over any idiosyncrasies that popped up. This time, in addition to love, a good sense of humor will smooth any bumpy terrain along their road to Happy Ever After. 

To comment on this story, click here. Or share your own story of reuniting with a lost love.

Do you know of anyone who might enjoy this hopeful story of getting back together?  Forward this edition or use this form to send it on.

French Vocabulary

non, ce n'est pas possible = no. it's not possible

Heidi est maintenant amie avec Brian = Heidi is now friends with Brian

où est Brian? = where is Brian

Brian parle avec Heidi = Brian is talking to Heidi

qu'est-ce qui se passe = what's happening?

Brian est en couple avec Heidi = Heidi is in a relationship with Brian

une photo vaut mille mots = a photo is worth a thousand words


....And one more bit of good news:

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My niece, Reagan, and my nephew, Payne, were the first to spread the good news. "My mom is back with her ex," they said, in so many words--sharing the scoop with their friends--and even their dad--who says he is happy for the couple. 

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To my beautiful and big-hearted sister (pictured here with Smokey): I'm so sorry for stumbling out of your wedding way back when. Given another chance, I will celebrate with you and Brian until the sun rises!  To comment on this post, click here. 

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